Lets talk about sleep with Calm

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32% of Brits claim that spooning a pillow has helped get them off to sleep, whilst over a quarter (26%) of men claim their pillow is a better spoon than their partner, new research has revealed.

Nearly half of Brits (46%) polled in the survey by Calm, the leading app for sleep and meditation, have tried spooning a pillow at least once in a bid to help them drift off to sleep, whilst almost a third (32%) of men have even imagined the pillow to be a person in comparison to just over one in five (21%) women.


The top ten things Brits have tried to help them nod off are:


  1. Reading – 41%
  2. Watching TV – 35%
  3. Spooning a pillow – 32%
  4. Listening to music or a podcast – 29%
  5. Taking a hot shower or bath – 25%
  6. Counting sheep – 17%
  7. Exercise / going for a run 9%
  8. Cleaning/tidying – 9%
  9. Looking at the stars – 8%
  10. Listening to ASMR – 7%


The survey also found that more than one in four (27%) Brits let their pets sleep with them in bed every night, with one in five (20%) claiming they feel bad for moving their pet off the bed when trying to sleep. However, 18% said they are prepared to sleep uncomfortably and forego a good night’s sleep if it means their pet gets one instead. One in ten men (10%) claim they even kick their other half out of bed at least two or three times a week, compared with 5% of women, so they can enjoy some snuggle time with their furry friends.

The survey found that the younger generation is leading the trend in drinking de-stressing adaptogenic hot drinks, such as those containing turmeric, ashwagandha, or cordyceps, with 17% of 16-34-year-olds claiming they sip on them before bedtime. One in five (20%) Brits opt for a relaxing glass of wine. Biscuits take the top spot as Brits’ favourite bedtime snack, with 26% treating themselves to one before bed, closely followed by sweets, and a slice of toast (18%).

Surprisingly, more than half (56%) of Brits don’t use any sleep aids at all to help them get an optimal night’s kip. However, just under one in ten (9%) use a soothing sleep spray, or a luxurious silk eye mask (9%), with 7% using a sleep or meditation app as a helping hand before bedtime.

When the need for a truly restful night’s sleep is becoming ever more important, Calm commissioned the research to highlight Brits’ impressive tactics on getting a perfect night’s sleep. The Calm app features hundreds of hours of mindfulness content, including a great selection of Sleep Stories, to help you nod off.

To prepare for the best shut eye possible, more than a quarter of Brits are now using black out curtains, while a third say they make the bed. Most Brits change their bedsheets fortnightly (44%), followed by once a week (26%) although, alarmingly, 7% of 16-24-year-olds claim they have never changed their bedsheets.

In terms of bedtime attire, matching pyjamas are still very much a popular choice, with 23% of Brits wearing them to bed, while just under one in five (17%) opt to get under the covers in the nude. In fact, those in Norwich are most likely to sleep in the nude (26%) compared to those in Belfast (12%) who are more likely to opt for sleeping in just their underwear (33%).

Chris Advansun, Head of Sleep Stories at Calm, says “The battle to get a good night’s sleep is something we all go through, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. For some, it can be as simple as holding onto a pillow for comfort, while for others it is ensuring the ambiance of the bedroom is just right to make it a soothing environment in which to drift off.

“In addition to all the different quirks that Brits seem to have to help them go to sleep, the Calm app is a great platform for sleep, with an abundance of tools for meditation and relaxation. Our whole host of Sleep Stories – bedtime stories for adults – provide the ultimate escape from the anxious thoughts that so often keep us awake at night. Sleep Stories help you unwind, sending you off to the best night’s sleep possible.”